Oxytocin

Dr. Martin Poliakov
Dr. Martin Poliakov

Chemicals are amazing things, especially for a nerd like myself who can watch YouTube videos of this man with wild frizzy hair – who looks like science – Dr. Martin Poliakov of Nottingham University, for hours on end. If you have even the slightest interest in Chemistry, I highly recommend checking out the Periodic Videos channel; it will educate and entertain for hours.

The reason I start this blog with an introduction of the man who looks like science is because today’s word is a chemical, and I couldn’t think of a better way to begin.

‘Oxytocin.’  That’s today’s word.

Oxytocin is one of the most important chemicals in the mammalian brain. Often called the “Cuddle Hormone” it is responsible for our feelings of love, relationship, and trust. But is responsible for so much more. As a hormone, it is produced in by the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior pituitary gland. It is released during many different situations from childbirth to pair bonding.

It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. It is considered a necessary part of a functioning health system.

But rather than go on writing and bore you with dry scientific facts, here is a video of Dr. Love’s (Paul Zak) TED Talk “Trust, Morality, — and Oxytocin.” Enjoy.


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